Sound Designer


The Sound Designer is basically responsible for everything related to sound for a given production.  He or She provides the designs for all pre-recorded music, sound effects, and the reinforcement of live voices, musical instruments and sound elements.  The sound designer is also responsible for all sound related technical drawings and the specifications for any sound equipment to be rented, leased or purchased, as well as for overseeing the installation of the sound systems and setting the sound cues. (Based on the description in J. Michael Gillette’s Theatrical Design and Production, 6th ed.)


  1. Read the script several times, taking note of overall story and theme and specific physical needs. Determine research and dramaturgical needs.
  2. Consult the departmental production calendar and note all due dates. It is important that you meet these dates because it affects the work of so many other people.
  3. Attend all design and production meetings. Make sure the stage manager has all of your current contact information
  4. Schedule a conversation about the play with the director and your mentor. Whenever possible it is best if this includes the entire design team. Discuss overall production concept, theme, style, period, etc.
  5. Create a preliminary sound plot and obtain a copy of the ground plan from the scenic designer and begin thinking of speaker placement.
  6. Get all the relevant literature on the equipment that is available for your show. Familiarize yourself with your equipment, as it will be the basis of quality for your design.
  7. Gather research and compile relevant information to present to your mentor and the director as it pertains to your design.
  8. Attend rehearsals regularly. These should be run-throughs whenever possible.
  9. Finalize your sound plot and create a play list and all other relevant paper work. Present your finalized plot to your mentor at least one full day before presenting it to the director or other production team members.
  10. Build, create, and record your cues to the designated media. Be sure to check for record quality and clarity. Discuss your speaker location needs with the scenic designer and technical director, especially if you need to “hide” them on the stage.
  11. If sound cues need to be purchased, discuss this with your mentor and the technical director, who will purchase them for you. You will not be reimbursed for unapproved purchases.
  12. Meet with the technical director to plan quiet time and set preliminary levels for each cue before you meet and present them to your mentor and the director.
  13. Assist in training the sound board operator at tech rehearsal.
  14. Arrange a meeting with the director, stage manager, and the other production team members for a “Paper Tech”, so that you may go through the show cue by cue prior to the first tech rehearsal. This may take several hours to complete.
  15. Have copies of all your paperwork available for first tech so if a situation arises you can handle it professionally and quickly.
  16. Attend all tech rehearsals so that you may take notes and fix cues as needed. Be specific in your note taking as to avoid any complications for your next work session.
  17. At the end of each tech rehearsal there will be a production meeting to discuss the needs of every department. This will allow the production team to gauge the schedule for the next workday. Record the schedule that is decided.
  18. After this meeting, meet with the technical director to schedule any work time needed in the theater during the following workday.
  19. Once your show is complete, record backup media and verify that your operator and stage manger have all the needed files and paperwork. 

Online application for this position.